Behind the Scenes: Photoshoot!

A sneak preview of some new items soon to be available at The Navigatrix 

Little did my local circle of friends and acquaintances know that they were secretly being considered to be the first Navigatrix model. I have to admit being a little nervous asking, but having left my days as a shy little mouse well and truly behind me, I approached my first choice and briefly explained what I needed. Luckily, she happily agreed and so I am very pleased to introduce Kim:

 I walked into Matt’s house on a Saturday morning to find that there was suddenly a professional looking studio setup in his dining room! After having been supplied with an essential cuppa, I set about ironing the backsheet as best I could (I’m an easycare, only iron on special occassions kind of mum).


I brought a mix of old and new items with me, to refresh some existing listings and to create new listings of items that have so far only been seen at the Morton Steam and Vintage Weekend. 

Absinthe’s Plume
Dark Amber and Brown Velvet Choker

Copper Topper
Crystal Tube Necklace

It will take me a while to put up all the new items as I have to take additional photographs of some items on their own. Each photograph is run through photoshop to crop and rotate it where necessary. I rarely tweak the brightness and contrast as I like each photo to be as true to the item as possible. I did make myself laugh though on one image, where I found myself removing a few stray hairs with the airbrush tool… that’s about the extent of my photoshop skill anyway!

Getting a lot done with very little

I’d like to encourage anyone out there who is dreaming of running a successful Etsy shop (or any other similar venture) by being up front about what I have so far achieved. Yes, I’m going to blow my own trumpet here a bit, out of a desire to help others. It’s easy to say ‘I can’t, because..’ and if I’d let that little thought dominate me, I wouldn’t be writing this now. Let’s visit a couple points of resistance and I’ll show you how I dealt (or am dealing) with them :

• “I haven’t got enough money to start a business.”
~ I was in my overdraft when I started (and still am, but definitely looking up). This was one motivation to make things out of bits I already had, or could be given. I didn’t have to spend anything initially to get things done. I am lucky enough to have internet access, a good camera on my phone and a strong creative impulse. I started by doing what I could with what I’ve got. Now, you’ve probably heard the saying that it takes a new business three years to turn a profit…well, I wasn’t about to let that put me off, nor do I agree that that has to be my truth. Handling money is a skill I do admit I need to work on and this seems like an ideal opportunity to learn.


• “I haven’t got time!”
~ Right now, my little one is at pre-school. I made the decision to treat this as a business and to allocate at least 14 hours to it. This does mean steeling myself against doing housework (not hard;) for the four mornings I have to myself at home (I do Tai Chi on a Friday). So, 8 hours, plus another 6 or so scattered throughout the week, whenever I can get time on the computer in the evening, or sitting making whilst my little one plays in the afternoon. Enough housework gets done. Usually. I’m still perfecting the art of balancing all the different aspects of living, but that is the endeavour of a lifetime.

What are your points of resistance? Leave a comment and I’ll reply.

Anyway, back to the photoshoot for my most important insight: I have achieved this so far: 71 shop favourites, 127 Facebook likes, over 30 Twitter followers and a grand total of £270 in sales since I began in February this year. Plus having accepted an invitation to be be a joint leader for the In Here Life Is Beautiful Etsy Team. Not bad going for a very part time, specialised business, if I do say so myself. It’s a promising start. And I couldn’t have done any of it without help from other people.

Who is that dashing Skywayman? Nice earring.
‘Tis Matt of Arcane Armoury, of course,
sporting another earring…

My brother does so much to support my work…in fact I credit him with the reason that The Navigatrix was created in the first place (read about my shop here. )


He helps with some photography, occassionally provides me with materials, tea and enthusiasm. In return for his help, I mention his shop wherever I can, give him feedback and support. I love our design consultations. More than once he has come to my door with a prop weapon wrapped in a jacket, laid it on the kitchen worktop and asked what else the design needs.  


Having just one person to talk to about your work, in depth, who supports you and encourages you, is essential! It can be very lonely making things by yourself and sitting alone for hours in front of a computer screen.


The support from friends and family also spurs me on, raises my self-esteem and helps me to maintain the attitude of gratitude for my creative work. 


I belong to several Etsy Teams and there are a few individuals who are fast becoming my ‘Etsy friends’, even though we’ve never met. Their generously shared experience, support and encouragement means a great deal to me.

 These are some of the new items that will be available soon. 
Enquiries are welcome, if there is demand it will encourage me to list the items more quickly! 

Tea With Elsie



I would like to thank Kim for being a great model and Matt for the wonderful photos. I’m looking forward to the next photoshoot, though that is not likely to happen until the autumn. 


Comments and enquiries are always welcome. If you’re an Etsy shopper or shop owner, come and find me at In Here Life Is Beautiful , where we have a fantastic competition with a bouquet of prizes waiting for the one lucky winner!


If you like what you see and read, do share it, thankyou.


Wishing you Happiness, Health and all kinds of Wealth, whatever you do,


Sally-Ann ♡